Change Management is Essential For Leaders
COVID-19 caused major shake-ups for many companies and revealed why change management is one of the most essential leadership skills. Being able to deal with tumultuous and unpredictable circumstances and roll with the punches is what will separate successful management teams from the ones that aren’t prepared for change. Poor change management can damage morale among employees and lead to a decrease in the quality of services and products.
One thing that high-quality management teams understand is that change management needs to cover every level of an organization. It’s not enough for upper management to decide on an organizational tone if they aren’t able to put it into practice with the help of middle management and team leaders, who in turn will help general employees adapt to changes. Some companies are unable to adapt to large-scale change, whether it is expected or unexpected, but there are also plenty of companies that come out the other side stronger than ever. Business leaders who stick with “that’s the way we’ve always done it” as a mantra are sure to bump up against a changing market environment at some point and they will be in for a rude awakening. Change management is crucial for businesses of any size looking to stay relevant and see growth over time.
Here are three things leaders can do to facilitate change management during mergers, acquisitions, or unexpected events, such as the pandemic.
Recognize When Change is Needed
This may seem obvious, but even in situations where change is clearly needed, companies will often willfully ignore the signs in order to avoid the turbulent nature of changing things with the current structure. Even something as monumental as the pandemic left some companies unwilling to adapt, and many businesses were hit hard. Figure out the best way for teams to communicate and what changes need to be made on each level.
Communicate Accurately About the Changes
High-level executives can have great ideas about moving a company forward, but if the communication degrades when reaching lower-level employees, it’s possible that trying to implement changes can leave things worse off. Everyone in the company needs to be on the same page.
Lead With Understanding and a Willingness to Listen
When upper management has an idea for change, it can sometimes be difficult for those in lower positions to voice their concerns and opinions. If you are a leader, it is necessary to be aware of the power dynamic at play and help people feel safe to voice their own ideas. They may have an easier or better way to do something that hadn’t been considered before. The more prepared your leaders are to lead through change, the better the experiences your employees, customers, and patients will have.